Scope, Symptoms & Current Treatment
PAD is a disease of high human and social impact and after coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke, is the third most prevalent form of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
The mortality rate in patients suffering from PAD is at least three times higher… in addition, patients can undergo acute, non-fatal cardiovascular events, some of which necessitate the surgical amputation of limbs.
(Source: World Health Organization)
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, people who have peripheral artery disease (PAD) nay not have any signs or symptoms. They recommend to ask your doctor whether you should get checked for PAD if you are:
- Aged 70 or older
- Aged 50 or older and have a history of smoking or diabetes
- Younger than 50 and have diabetes and one or more risk factors for atherosclerosis
The Mayo Clinic identifies the following possible signs and symptoms of PAD:
Peripheral artery disease signs and symptoms include:
- Painful cramping in one or both of your hips, thighs or calf muscles after certain activities, such as walking or climbing stairs (claudication)
- Leg numbness or weakness
- Coldness in your lower leg or foot, especially when compared with the other side
- Sores on your toes, feet or legs that won’t heal
- A change in the color of your legs
- Hair loss or slower hair growth on your feet and legs
- Slower growth of your toenails
- Shiny skin on your legs
- No pulse or a weak pulse in your legs or feet
- Erectile dysfunction in men
- Results from our NIH funded research that is defining the mechanisms by which stem cell prevent amputations won the award for the best research paper in the United States from the prestigious American Heart Association.
- In the laboratory Dr. Steve Miller has developed a model of PAD in a diabetic mouse in which we are testing new cells, called spheroids, and cells that have been transfected with a gene to secrete specific signals to the surrounding tissue to make blood vessels grow.
Progress Toward the Future
- We are developing PAD on a Plate. Using our 3D Bioprinter, one of only two of its kind in the US, we are “printing” blood vessel cells in a molded matrix in which we can test drugs or stem cells for stimulating blood vessel growth.
- We are collaborating with scientists from Harvard University who have developed a gel material that can be injected into the muscle of a leg with PAD. This gel recruits surrounding blood vessel cells to grow into it and from new, larger blood vessels. This gel has Food and Drug Administration approval for clinical use and we hope to include this in MOBILE II
- Building upon the experience of the MOBILE Phase III trial for severe PAD we have designed MOBILE II, a multi-center trial that will use stem cells from a young healthy donor, rather than the patient’s own bone marrow cells, and use a multi-dosing approach.
- Building upon PACE, the NIH funded trial that treated patients with less severe PAD, we are developing PACE-2 with colleagues at the Texas Heart Institute. This will also be a multi-center trial that will use stem cells from a young healthy donor.